10 best iPad writing and editing apps

December 31, 2012

These 10 apps can help you polish everything from website code and copy to marketing pitches.


7.1b pages screen

iOS users have been getting along without an official version of Microsoft Word for years. If what you need is word processing with a good dose of page layout, Pages can easily handle everything from simple reports to more complex designs featuring multiple columns, inline images and more. There are tons of templates to get you started, and you can edit them for a custom feel. Mac users will benefit from the syncing to the desktop version, and Pages has no problem creating or editing Word-compatible .doc files.


7.2b simplenote-for-ipad-resized

Simplenote is exactly what it says on the tin: a speedy, clutter-free way to take notes on your iOS device. The interface may be minimal, but Simplenote’s searching powers are what make it a must-have app. Use tags to organize your notes, or rely on Simplenote’s quick searching to find exactly what you need. Simplenote syncs to the web, so you can access your files from any browser, or use a desktop app to sync files locally to your PC or Mac.



7.3b PDFpen-resized

Signing a document usually involves printing it out, signing it, scanning it back into your computer, and finally emailing your signed copy. PDFpen greatly simplifies the process, allowing you to open a PDF, quickly sign it using your iPad’s touchscreen, and send it off. There are also editing and notation tools built-in, so you can fill out forms, edit documents, and more.


Day One

7.4b Day One-resized

Day One is a daily journal brought into the digital age. The companion desktop Mac version was Apple’s 2012 App of the Year. You can use it to track daily milestones, or to collect images, notes, and ideas for projects in development. Day One supports iCloud and Dropbox syncing, and also supports Markdown for quick text formatting, and TextExpander for faster entry. It also features Twitter integration, and you can tag entries with GPS data.


Drafts for iPad

7.5b Drafts screen

Drafts is a Swiss Army knife for text. Fire it up and the app presents you with a blank page, ready for whatever you type or paste in. Drafts posts to your favorite services, from Twitter, Facebook and App.net. You can also quickly add notes to your Dropbox folder, send emails and SMS messages, or create HTML using Markdown. Drafts is simple, fast, and it syncs across multiple devices.


Documents To Go Premium

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Documents To Go easily handles your Office files on an iOS device. You can create, edit and view Word, Excel & PowerPoint files, sync to Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net, iDisk & SugarSync. And you can view PDFs and sync files between a desktop PC or Mac and your iPad



7.7b WordPress screen-resized

Managing websites while you’re on the go can be difficult. Thankfully, WordPress users have an excellent iOS version that can handle nearly all of the functions of the platform’s web-based interface. You can easily queue and schedule posts, and recent updates have added support for featured images, and push notifications.



7.8b Omni Outliner Screen-resized

OmniOutliner makes great use of the iPad’s interface to create and manipulate even the most complicated workflows. Track to-do lists, due dates, formatted lists, and just about anything else you need to keep on schedule. Outliner is flexible enough to let you focus in on project details, and still lets you zoom out quickly to get a bird’s-eye view of your entire outline. It syncs with the Mac version of Outliner, and exports to OPML for use with other outliners, as well as HTML or plain-text.



7.9b Byword screen

If Pages or other word-processing apps are too complicated, try Byword. The minimal interface doesn’t offer much to distract you, and all the essentials for creating content are in place. There’s a live word count to offer subtle inspiration, and Byword supports Markdown for easy conversion from text to formatted HTML. Built-in syncing via Apple’s iCloud service or Dropbox can keep all your computers and devices on the same page.


Nebulous Notes (for Dropbox)

7.10b Nebulous Notes-resized

Coders will love Nebulous Notes which lets you view & edit text files of all kinds. Dropbox syncing is built-in and Nebulous Notes can also send notes to your Evernote account. Excellent support for Markdown means easy HTML code, and the customizable keyboard macros keep your frequently-used keys in reach. There are also text substitutions, so even complex tags are a snap on your iOS device.



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